28 Facts About Arthur Laurents


Arthur Laurents was an American playwright, theatre director, film producer and screenwriter.


Arthur Laurents directed the musical La Cage aux Folles in 1983 and received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical.


Arthur Laurents worked as a screenwriter on Hollywood films such as Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Rope, Anastasia, Bonjour Tristesse and Sydney Pollack's romance The Way We Were.


Arthur Laurents received two Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Herbert Ross drama film The Turning Point.


Arthur Laurents was born and raised in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, New York, the elder of two children, and attended Erasmus Hall High School.


Arthur Laurents's paternal grandparents were Orthodox Jews, and his mother's parents, although born Jewish, were atheists.


Arthur Laurents's mother kept a kosher home for her husband's sake, but was lax about attending synagogue and observing the Jewish holidays.


Arthur Laurents' career was interrupted when he was drafted into the US Army in the middle of World War II.


Arthur Laurents later was reassigned to write plays for Armed Service Force Presents, a radio show that dramatized the contributions of all branches of the armed forces.


Arthur Laurents's work in radio and film during World War II was an excellent apprenticeship for a budding playwright and screenwriter.


Arthur Laurents had the good fortune to be based in New York City.


In 1962, Arthur Laurents directed I Can Get It for You Wholesale, which helped to turn then-unknown Barbra Streisand into a star.


In 2008, Arthur Laurents directed a Broadway revival of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, and in 2009, he tackled a bilingual revival of West Side Story, with Spanish translations of some dialogue and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Director Anatole Litvak, unhappy with the script submitted by Frank Partos and Millen Brand for The Snake Pit, hired Arthur Laurents to rewrite it.


Partos and Brand later insisted the bulk of the shooting script was theirs, and produced carbon copies of many of the pages Arthur Laurents actually had written to bolster their claim.


Brand later confessed he and Partos had copied scenes written by Arthur Laurents and apologized for his role in the deception.


Four decades later, Arthur Laurents learned he was ineligible for WGA health benefits because he had failed to accumulate enough credits to qualify.


Arthur Laurents was short by one, the one he failed to get for The Snake Pit.


Arthur Laurents's dilemma was how to make the audience aware of the fact the three main characters were homosexual without blatantly saying so.


The Hays Office kept close tabs on his work, and the final script was so discreet that Arthur Laurents was unsure whether co-star James Stewart ever realized that his character was gay.


Arthur Laurents explained himself to the House Un-American Activities Committee, and his appearance had no obvious impact on his career, which at the time was primarily in the theatre.


When Robbins approached Paramount Pictures about directing a screen version, the studio agreed as long as Arthur Laurents was not part of the package.


Arthur Laurents decided to return to Paris, but the State Department refused to renew his passport.


Arthur Laurents spent three months trying to clear his name, and after submitting a lengthy letter explaining his political beliefs in detail, it was determined they were so idiosyncratic he could not have been a member of any subversive groups.


Hatcher was an aspiring actor whom Gore Vidal suggested Arthur Laurents seek out at the Beverly Hills men's clothing store Hatcher was managing at the time.


Arthur Laurents wrote Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story and Other Musicals, published in 2009, in which he discussed musicals he directed and the work of other directors he admired.


Arthur Laurents died from complications of pneumonia at his home in Manhattan on May 5,2011, aged 93.


Arthur Laurents's ashes were buried alongside those of Tom Hatcher in a memorial bench in Quogue, Long Island, New York.